Two years ago, the Charlottesville rally woke America up. In 2017, many of us believed that we lived in a post racial and religious society. We judged our fellow citizen as individuals, not based on factors such as race, religion, family origin, etc.
Then Nazis marched through Charlottesville carrying lighted tiki torches stating that “Jews will not replace us”. By the time all was said and done, Heather Heyer was dead after being hit by a car driven by a neo-Nazi.
Looking back, the signs of a rising acceptance of hatred and prejudice was there, if one only paid attention to the signs. Though I firmly believe that you know who is partly to blame, he is not the sole reason for the riot.
Sometimes, change only comes with a hard knock. Two years, America had it’s hard knock. The question, as I see it, how we, as Americans proceed from here. Do we let these neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right hijack this country or do we tell them in no uncertain terms that this country belongs to everyone, regardless of labels?
In 2018, many of us think that we live in post racial society. Last year’s rally in Charlottesville proved otherwise.
On one hand, one could argue that we are on the way to a post racial society. The counter protesters were made of Americans all backgrounds, colors and creeds who represent the idealistic American society where every citizen regardless of labels has the same rights and privileges. But, on the other hand, the white nationalists who started the protest prove that discrimination, prejudice and racial barriers are still alive and well in America.
A year later the statement “Jews will not replace us” still sends a chill down my spine. One should be able to say that this particular statement is relegated to newsreels of Germany in the early 1930’s. But the reality is that this statement was spoken by Americans in the early 21st century.
My hope (as faint as it is) is that the Charlottesville Rally is a turning point for American. The rose-colored glasses have been knocked off our faces and our eyes are opened. Heather Heyer did not die in vain. She gave as much to her country as any soldier fighting overseas.
Only time will tell how future Americans will judge our current generation. The only thing I know is that the events in Charlottesville one year ago will never be forgotten.
I’m not a huge fan of the classic musicals, but sometimes, one of them resonates so deeply that it is as relevant in 2017 as it was when it was initially introduced to audiences.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical, South Pacific is set on an unnamed island in the South Pacific during World War II. The underlying message of the narrative is basically that racism of any kind is wrong. The story focuses on the will they or won’t they relationship between two couples: an American nurse and a French expatriate plantation owner with mixed race children and a soldier and a native girl.
While the show has it’s lighter moments, one the best remembered songs (in my opinion at least), is “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught”.
The rally in Charlottesville yesterday proved that America has a long way to go in achieving the ideals of the Founding Fathers.
It did not help, of course, that President Trump’s statement was vague and he did not outright condemn the hate filled marchers, but honestly who is surprised by that?
We were warned, btw by Hillary Clinton last year.
Heather Heyer lost her life to this hate. I hope this is a wake up call for all Americans. The progress we have made as Americans in reaching the ideals set forth by the Founding Fathers represents the work of multiple generations. But for as much work as we have done, this weekend proves that we still have a long way to go.